Little did I know that when I arrived in Winnipeg for my North American Road Trip, I would get to eat at Canada’s first all-vegan burger cafe! Central Canada is meat-and-potatoes farm country and has been a challenging place to be veggie every time I’ve visited over the last decade. It’s a testament to the fact that this “vegan thing” is here to stay that Winnipeg had a couple 100% vegan dining options.
We visited Boon Burger Cafe off Banatine in the Exchange District of downtown Winnipeg. It’s one of two locations for this local company that serves up vegan burgers, vegan hot dogs, fries, and coconut-milk-based soft serve.
If you are a regular reader, don’t worry, even though I indulge in an occasional vegan burger, I’m still high raw, basing my diet around whole plant foods. To see how I balanced green smoothies with eating out or for the rest of my Winnipeg visit, read my post on practicing controlled indulgence.
With its built-in tables, Boon Burger is not really set up for large parties like our 10 people, so we had to improvise. But that was part of the fun.
Just when I was thinking, “Where did their name come from?” Love their explanation below… and how they wrote it on the wall.
And what did we sip on while waiting for our food? A vegan mint-chocolate shake, of course. Well, really Jay ordered it and I tasted it to make sure it reached my standards. Mint chocolate is, after all, one of my favorite flavors – check out the recipe for my raw vegan, sugar-free mint chocolate shake.
And don’t you hate when you order and they give you a cold, unfeeling number to mark your place in line? How about their veg-appropriate alternative (below)?
Each order gets a different herbivore. Cute, eh? What better way to help them find you when your order is up? Our party had three separate orders and got a giraffe, ram, and triceratops.
My everyday diet doesn’t include flour, but for special splurges like this, I indulge. Loved the bread (I’m a recovering bread-addict) they used, it was more gourmet than bun.
FYI for those of you with food-sensitivities, they have a gluten-free option. And they also have a black bean patty and a buddha patty with chickpeas and brown rice which are both soy and gluten-free. Actually all four of their patties look delicious, and the two I tasted were pretty darn good.
Why yes that is poutine. Something I’ve been missing for the last decade of my veggie life. This was my total splurge, no justifications. Had to try it because this was the first vegan version I’ve come across. It was good, but my palate has changed a bit in the years since childhood. Still, I’m so glad they have this so people don’t have go animal to experience the most iconic of Canadian cuisine.
For those of you unfamiliar with poutine, it is a (unhealthy) Canadian tradition. It’s basically fries smothered in cheese and gravy – in this case vegan gravy and daiya. Man that cheese sub is really taking the vegan world by storm! I remember when it was hard to find and you had to order it online!
With 13 different types of amazing-sounding burgers, including 4 entirely different vegan patties, it was really hard to choose. I ordered the Spicy Boon Buffalo Burger. Buffalo sauce is another thing I rarely eat so was special, and the patty was lightly crusted in potato crumbs which gave it a breaded-like texture. Jay got my backup choice, the Buddha Burger with a curried chickpea patty and yummy toppings like red pepper peach chutney.
The verdict: all in all, I would say I approve of Boon Burger for the occasional splurge. Pretty gourmet burgers: I appreciate the wholesome feel of the food compared to the greasy veggie burgers offered elsewhere. Next to try would be the Chilli Cheese Dog Wrapper which is a vegan hot dog wrapped in a wholegrain tortilla. I have to admit I’m curious.
Now your turn. Do you like your vegan burgers to taste “healthy” or greasy? Do you have a favorite burger joint? Share it in the comments.